After Shya Scanlon’s reading tonight (which I thought was a tremendous success) I spoke with the recently debearded David Peak (and no, he’s not a mussel) and Chris Heavener (Have you picked up a copy of Annalemma’s gorgeous issue #5, yet?), and one of the things that David brought up was William Gass’s On Being Blue, Gass’s dazzling reverie on the color blue, the imagination, eros, and creativity. After gushing about that book I mentioned Theroux’s various sprawling essays on colors collected in two volumes: The Primary Colors: Three Essays and The Secondary Colors: Three Essays. (Theroux supposedly has an unpublished manuscript on black and white sitting in a drawer somewhere. Will somebody please publish it already?) I’d also mentioned Krzysztof Kieślowski’s amazing trilogy of films Blue, White, and Red. And David brought up William T. Vollman’s The Rainbow Stories.
So what are your thoughts about the abovementioned books and films? And what are some other works, e.g., poems, films, stories, books, songs, etc., that are sustained meditations on a specific color? There must be a slew of them.
John Madera is the author of Nervosities (Anti-Oedipus Press, 2024). His other fiction is published in Conjunctions, Salt Hill, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His nonfiction is published in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, New York State Council on the Arts awardee John Madera lives in New York City, Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.